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Just ASK — Always Seek Knowledge™

I remember my mother saying this when I was younger; and my wife says it now.  It often happens when I have taken the last of something or assumed something for both my wife and I, without checking with her first.  In the business world, we often do something similar.  I’m sure we’ve all heard how the word “assume” can be expanded to “ass-u-me” to look like something someone texted.  It certainly takes on a different meaning.  So, why assume?  Why not just ASK?  Ask the customer.  Ask your employees.  Ask your suppliers.  Ask your colleagues.  Just ASK!  You will be surprised at the responses, both positive and negative.  People feel more valued and involved when you ask their opinion.  In my last blog, I indicated the 4 most valuable words are, “What do you think?”  Another interpretation of ASK is “the ASK” when an entrepreneur is seeking funding from an investor.  It’s an important part of the pitch, getting into the valuation of the company, its future potential and the potential payoff for the investor.  In coaching entrepreneurs this year, we highly encouraged them to buy lots of cups of coffee and go out and ASK people what they think of their idea and keep “sharpening the saw” and “pivoting” the idea until it really looks and sounds good.  And, don’t forget the salesman making a product pitch.  ASK for the order.  Or, the politician who needs to ASK for the vote.  On another subject, I had the opportunity a few years ago in the corporate world to have a personal coach for a short period of time.  She recommended to me that I be more inquisitive rather than directive.  Basically, she recommended I ASK more questions and be more open minded–sometimes difficult for a driver, A-type personality.  So, in conclusion, Just ASK — Always Seek Knowledge™